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So far this year, there have been 22 U.S. military non-combat plane crashes flying routine operations. That’s up 38 percent from this time last year.
The number of American troops killed in these plane crashes has more than doubled. Following the announcement by the 7th Fleet Thursday night that it has ended its search for three missing American sailors hundreds of miles off the coast of Japan, the number of U.S. service members lost to plane crashes in 2017 stands at 37. That is more than 130 percent higher than the number killed in non-combat plane crashes at this point in 2016.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has testified before Congress, arguing that “no enemy in the field has done more to harm the combat readiness of our military than [budget cuts].”